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East Union rolls into adidas final

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East Union rolls into adidas final

Hunter Johnson puts up a tough shot for Sierra while double-teamed by the Cosumnes Oaks defense.

Photo by SEAN KAHLER/


POSTED December 28, 2013 12:48 a.m.

STOCKTON – The East Union Lancers will play in today’s 7 p.m. championship game of the adidas Trojan Classic at Lincoln High.

But they’ll have to get past Cosumnes Oaks of Elk Grove, which rolled past Sierra Timberwolves on Friday, 60-35.

“We’ll have to play better,” said East Union coach Ryan Tarr, whose team posted a 56-47 victory in the semifinal affair against Edison.

He added, “We had to figure out how to win (against the Vikings).”

The Lancers (5-2) did so by finding the open man inside.

Andrew Ruiz, Lucas Garcia, Robbie Gleockler, Nisar Fazli and Jake Danhoff were facilitators of the ball. Danhoff, who, at 6 foot 6, was a tough matchup for Edison. He finished with a game-high 24 points and nine boards.

Garcia netted 10 while Gleockler, Ruiz and Fazli had six each.

“This was a sloppy, ugly game at time,” Tarr said. “I don’t think we played up to our potential.”

Like Edison (2-6), East Union committed its fair share of turnovers. Included were a few passes that sailed errantly into the stands.

But the Lancers, who held a 28-25 half-time lead, made up for some of the earlier miscues by moving the ball inside.

Ruiz had four assists in second half, hitting the cutter, Danhoff, three times and Fazli on another pass.

Fazli delivered on cue to Clay Cuneo and Danhoff.

Edison kept it close thanks to the outside shooting of Richard Newell, who delivered 16 points. After being down 46-39 late in the game, the Vikings pulled to within a point on consecutive baskets by De Von King, Alzen Bucio, and Sean Buligon.

Buckets by Fazli and Danhoff coupled by Garcia’s trey finally gave East Union some breathing room in that closing minute.

Edison will take on Sierra (5-5) in the 5 p.m. third-place game.

The Timberwolves experienced some woes on offense, including a scoreless second quarter against Cosumnes Oaks (11-1).

Coach Scott Thomason was quick to add that his team “struggled in every aspect of the game,” he said.

The Wolfpack featured a balanced scoring attack led by 6-4 senior forward Alex Van Dyke, who is UCLA-bound on a football scholarship.

He had 11 points including a one-handed breakaway slam dunk in the third. LJ Reed led the way with 14.

Up 14-7, Cosumnes Oaks outscored Sierra in the second quarter, 11-0.

The Timberwolves opened the third with Josh Patton scoring six of his eight points and Devin Nunez draining a trey.

Nunez led Sierra with nine while Hunter Johnson finished with seven.

“We found out what happens when we don’t follow the game plan,” Thomason said.

He’s hoping to see his team rebound from that humbling loss against Edison.

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